recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : spaceshipearth   4

Letters of Note: Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088
"The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over Nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present to the world what appears to be Nature's stern but reasonable surrender terms:

1. Reduce and stabilize your population.
2. Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.
3. Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems.
4. Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you're at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.
5. Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars.
6. Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean, and stupid.
7. And so on. Or else."

via ]
vonnegut  advice  future  environment  sustainability  selfishness  goodancestors  1988  2088  nature  planetearth  spaceshipearth  ecosystems  war  small  slow  waste  wastefulness  escapism  technosolutionism 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth | The Evergreen State College
"Fifty years ago, Buckminster Fuller contemplated our planetary future and our limited ability to imagine alternative futures in his book, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth . In this program, we will consider what it means to be astronauts on our home planet and how to creatively imagine healthy and sustainable future scenarios. Guiding questions for the program will include: What shapes cultural values and how do cultures change, adapt and form new paths? How do we weave together various branches of knowledge into a healthy system and vision for the world? What do we make with the abundance of material goods that fill our daily lives? How do we design objects and spaces to create a more sustainable and fulfilling existence?

To address these questions, we will consider traditions of the past and present that demonstrate cultural responses to environmental limits and possibilities. Yogic philosophy, for example, offers critical guidelines for sustainable living and we will explore the principles and practices of this tradition. We will examine the ideologies of the Arts and Crafts movement, the modernist avant-garde, social sculpture and art as social practice. These will be connected with the environmental movement and current trends such as upcycling, cradle-to-cradle design and the resurgence in handiwork and traditions of craft.

Students will research and construct their own “Operating Manuals” over the course of the three quarters. This will include a critical look at alternative and utopian models for living, as well as engage with powerful sustainability and justice movements already at work in our community. This program will challenge students to engage through readings and weekly seminar discussions, field visits and research papers, as well as visual art projects and critiques.

In fall quarter, we will build vocabularies and skills for thinking about sustainability and community transformation. Studio work in two- and three-dimensional design and ceramics will emphasize redesigning, repurposing and reusing the proliferation of materials available all around us. Yoga labs will help us to integrate work in the classroom and studio with yogic thought and somatic experiences. Study and comparison of cross-cultural examples of sustainability practices will guide the development of our Operating Manuals.

In winter quarter, we will work to develop community projects and/or individual visual artworks. We will work with organizations such as Sustainable South Sound and The Commons to develop applied projects. Students will research and report on local and regional alternative, intentional communities. Our critical analysis of sustainability discourses will inform all of our studio work.

Spring quarter will offer opportunities to further develop and implement community projects. These may take the form of public art projects, sculptures or installations that enhance public spaces such as community or school gardens or parks. They may also involve facilitating public art processes that integrate the concepts and design principles central to this program."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  buckminsterfuller  anthropology  karengaul  evanblackwell  anthonytindill  architecture  design  art  arthistory  history  community  consciousness  consciousnessstudies  sustainability  sustainabilitystudies  somaticstudies  culturalstudies  culture  visualarts  spaceshipearth 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Annals of Innovation: Dymaxion Man : The New Yorker
"Fuller’s schemes often had the hallucinatory quality associated with science fiction (or mental hospitals). It concerned him not in the least that things had always been done a certain way in the past. In addition to flying cars, he imagined mass-produced bathrooms that could be installed like refrigerators; underwater settlements that would be restocked by submarine; and floating communities that, along with all their inhabitants, would hover among the clouds. Most famously, he dreamed up the geodesic dome. “If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top . . . that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver,” Fuller once wrote. “But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings.” Fuller may have spent his life inventing things, but he claimed that he was not particularly interested in inventions. He called himself a “comprehensive, anticipatory design scientist”—a “comprehensivist,” for short—and believed that his task was to innovate in such a way as to benefit the greatest number of people using the least amount of resources. “My objective was humanity’s comprehensive success in the universe” is how he once put it. “I could have ended up with a pair of flying slippers.”"

"During the First World War, Fuller married Anne Hewlett, the daughter of a prominent architect, and when the war was over he started a business with his father-in-law, manufacturing bricks out of wood shavings. Despite the general prosperity of the period, the company struggled and, in 1927, nearly bankrupt, it was bought out. At just about the same time, Anne gave birth to a daughter. With no job and a new baby to support, Fuller became depressed. One day, he was walking by Lake Michigan, thinking about, in his words, “Buckminster Fuller—life or death,” when he found himself suspended several feet above the ground, surrounded by sparkling light. Time seemed to stand still, and a voice spoke to him. “You do not have the right to eliminate yourself,” it said. “You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe.” (In Fuller’s idiosyncratic English, “universe”—capitalized—is never preceded by the definite article.) It was at this point, according to Fuller, that he decided to embark on his “lifelong experiment.” The experiment’s aim was nothing less than determining “what, if anything,” an individual could do “on behalf of all humanity.” For this study, Fuller would serve both as the researcher and as the object of inquiry. (He referred to himself as Guinea Pig B, the “B” apparently being for Bucky.) Fuller moved his wife and daughter into a tiny studio in a Chicago slum and, instead of finding a job, took to spending his days in the library, reading Gandhi and Leonardo. He began to record his own ideas, which soon filled two thousand pages. In 1928, he edited the manuscript down to fifty pages, and had it published in a booklet called “4D Time Lock,” which he sent out to, among others, Vincent Astor, Bertrand Russell, and Henry Ford.

Like most of Fuller’s writings, “4D Time Lock” is nearly impossible to read; its sentences, Slinky-like, stretch on and on and on. (One of his biographers observed of “4D Time Lock” that “worse prose is barely conceivable.”) At its heart is a critique of the construction industry. Imagine, Fuller says, what would happen if a person, seeking to purchase an automobile, had to hire a designer, then send the plans out for bid, then show them to the bank, and then have them approved by the town council, all before work on the vehicle could begin. “Few would have the temerity to go through with it,” he notes, and those who did would have to pay something like fifty thousand dollars—half a million in today’s money—per car. Such a system, so obviously absurd for autos, persisted for houses, Fuller argued, because of retrograde thinking. (His own failure at peddling wood-composite bricks he cited as evidence of the construction industry’s recalcitrance.) What was needed was a “New Era Home,” which would be “erectable in one day, complete in every detail,” and, on top of that, “drudgery-proof,” with “every living appliance known to mankind, built-in.”"

"Like all Fuller men, he was sent off to Harvard. Halfway through his freshman year, he withdrew his tuition money from the bank to entertain some chorus girls in Manhattan. He was expelled. The following fall, he was reinstated, only to be thrown out again. Fuller never did graduate from Harvard, or any other school. He took a job with a meatpacking firm, then joined the Navy, where he invented a winchlike device for rescuing pilots of the service’s primitive airplanes. (The pilots often ended up head down, under water.)"

"Fuller was fond of neologisms. He coined the word “livingry,” as the opposite of “weaponry”—which he called “killingry”—and popularized the term “spaceship earth.” (He claimed to have invented “debunk,” but probably did not.) Another one of his coinages was “ephemeralization,” which meant, roughly speaking, “dematerialization.” Fuller was a strong believer in the notion that “less is more,” and not just in the aestheticized, Miesian sense of the phrase. He imagined that buildings would eventually be “ephemeralized” to such an extent that construction materials would be dispensed with altogether, and builders would instead rely on “electrical field and other utterly invisible environment controls.

Fuller’s favorite neologism, “dymaxion,” was concocted purely for public relations. When Marshall Field’s displayed his model house, it wanted a catchy label, so it hired a consultant, who fashioned “dymaxion” out of bits of “dynamic,” “maximum,” and “ion.” Fuller was so taken with the word, which had no known meaning, that he adopted it as a sort of brand name. The Dymaxion House led to the Dymaxion Vehicle, which led, in turn, to the Dymaxion Bathroom and the Dymaxion Deployment Unit, essentially a grain bin with windows. As a child, Fuller had assembled scrapbooks of letters and newspaper articles on subjects that interested him; when, later, he decided to keep a more systematic record of his life, including everything from his correspondence to his dry-cleaning bills, it became the Dymaxion Chronofile.

All the Dymaxion projects generated a great deal of hype, and that was clearly Fuller’s desire. All of them also flopped."

"In “Bucky,” a biography-cum-meditation, published in 1973, the critic Hugh Kenner observed, “One of the ways I could arrange this book would make Fuller’s talk seem systematic. I could also make it look like a string of platitudes, or like a set of notions never entertained before, or like a delirium.” On the one hand, Fuller insisted that all the world’s problems—from hunger and illiteracy to war—could be solved by technology. “You may . . . want to ask me how we are going to resolve the ever-accelerating dangerous impasse of world-opposed politicians and ideological dogmas,” he observed at one point. “I answer, it will be resolved by the computer.” On the other hand, he rejected fundamental tenets of modern science, most notably evolution. “We arrived from elsewhere in Universe as complete human beings,” he maintained. He further insisted that humans had spread not from Africa but from Polynesia, and that dolphins were descended from these early, seafaring earthlings."

[Slideshow: ]
buckminsterfuller  architecture  creativity  design  2008  history  biography  dropouts  bmc  blackmountaincollege  depression  spaceshipearth  writing  systems  systemsthinking  invention  technosolutionsism  comprehensivists  generalists  specialists  specialization  creativegeneralists 
july 2013 by robertogreco
bucky fuller & spaceship earth
"bucky fuller & spaceship earth is the title of a new exhibition looking at the work of buckminster fuller being held at ivorypress art + books in madrid. the show is running from september 1 to october 30 and is curated by norman foster and luis fernández-galiano. the exhibition features drawings and models including the recently completed recreation of the dymaxion car. foster worked with fuller for the last 12 years of his life and explains that fuller ‘had a profound influence on my own work and thinking’. the new dymaxion car was commissioned by foster based on fuller’s own<br />
drawings and prototypes. the prototype was built in east sussex by the car restoration company crosthwaite & gardiner."
design  buckminsterfuller  transportation  cars  wichitahouse  dymaxion  dymaxioncar  spaceshipearth 
december 2010 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:

to read